Following reports that electronics manufacturer Foxconn hired underage teenagers in its factories (where Nintendo Wii U consoles are being assembled), Nintendo has now confirmed this as fact, denouncing the practice as a violation of the company's guidelines.
A report earlier this month claimed that children as young as 14 were working at Foxconn's assembly factories. Nintendo said that it planned to investigate the reports, and has now responded to Kotaku with its findings.
Nintendo of America senior director of Corporate Communications Charlie Scibetta explained, "Nintendo investigated the incident and determined that this was a violation of the Nintendo Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Procurement Guidelines that all Nintendo production partners are required to follow, based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines."
He continued, "Foxconn has taken full responsibility for this incident and has moved quickly to ensure that all affected individuals no longer work at Foxconn. In fact, Foxconn's own policies prohibit the employment of underage individuals and the company has pledged to Nintendo via direct communications to improve its process of enforcing this policy to avoid any similar issues in the future."
Scibetta added that Nintendo staff will continue to carry out inspections at the factories to make sure that conditions remain acceptable. "As one of many companies that work with Foxconn to enhance CSR along the whole supply chain, we take this issue very seriously," he said.
This isn't the first time that Nintendo has been forced to investigate Foxconn's assembly factories. Back in 2010, a string of Chinese worker suicides prompted the company to re-examine labor conditions at the Wii console assembler.